Liebermann, Rolf


Liebermann, Rolf

Furioso for orchestra

SKU: 3099 Category:


Rolf Liebermann – Furioso for orchestra (1945)

(b. Zurich, 14 September 1910 – d. Paris, 2 January 1999)

Allegro vivace, furioso (p. 3) – Andante (p. 24) – Allegro vivace, Tempo I (p. 33)


Preface (by Christoph Schlüren)
Rolf Liebermann was the grandnephew of Max Liebermann (1847-1935), the Berlin painter prince and open Nazi opponent. His father was born in Germany and his mother was French. Rolf Liebermann was one of the most successful opera composers as well as opera directors of his time. He studied law at Zurich University from 1929 to 1933 and took private music lessons with José Berr (1874-1947) at the same time. In the beginning his liaison with chansonnière Lieselotte Wilke who soon became famous under the name Lale Andersen (1905-72) and immortal with her song ‚Lili Marleen’ animated him to write chansons, music for silent movies and for the cabaret. In 1936, he took part in a conducting master class of Hermann Scherchen (1891-1966) in Budapest and thereupon became Scherchen’s assistant at the Musica Viva Orchestra in Vienna (1937-38). Then he had to serve in the Swiss military, and from 1940 on he studied composition privately in Ascona with Wladimir Vogel (1896-1984) who introduced him to the twelve-tone technique. In 1943 Liebermann composed ‚Polyphonen Studien’ (Polyphonic Studies) for chamber orchestra, in 1944 the cantata ’Une des fins du monde’ for baritone and orchestra after Jean Giraudoux. From 1945 to 1950 he worked as sound engineer for Radio Zurich. During that period he wrote ‚Chinesische Liebeslieder’ (Chinese Love Songs) after Klabund for high voice, harp and strings, and ‚Furioso’ for orchestra (1945), incidental music for two plays (1946), the ‚Suite über sechs schweizerische Volkslieder’ (Suite on 6 Swiss Folk Songs) for orchestra (1947), ‚Musique’ after Baudelaire and Verlaine for recitation and orchestra (1948), his First Symphony built on the patterns of spoken rhythms, and the dramatic scene ‚Chinesisches Lied’ (Chinese Song) for contralto, tenor and piano (1949). Form 1950 to 1957 Liebermann was director of the Swiss Radio Society’s orchestra department. In these years he composed the cantata ‚Streitlied zwischen Leben und Tod’ (Song of Controversy Between Life and Death) for soli, choir and orchestra (1950), a piano sonata (1951), his first opera ‚Leonore 40/45’ (1952) that provoked an international scandal, his second opera ‚Penelope’ that gained wide success, and the ‚Concerto for Jazzband and Symphony Orchestra’ (1954) that became very popular, and as his third contribution to the genre the opera buffa ‚Die Schule der Frauen’ (The School of Women, 1955) that was to become the most successful post-war opera aside from Gottfried von Einem’s ‚Danton’s Tod’ (Danton’s Death). Heinrich Strobel (1898-1970), director of South West German Radio’s music department in Baden-Baden und decisive animator of the Donaueschingen Music Days after the war, wrote the librettos to all the three operas composed by Liebermann in the 1950s. In 1957, upon request of NDR chief conductor Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt (1900-73), Liebermann was engaged as director of the Main Department for Music at North German Radio in Hamburg, where he composed his ‚Geigy Festival Concerto’ for Basle drummer and orchestra in 1958, and a ‚Capriccio’ for soprano, violin and orchestra in 1959.


Read full preface > HERE

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